31 days of training my kids: walking with Mommy

We didn’t really have any trouble with this concept until our fourth little girl came along.

But apparently what is textbook for one -or three- is rocket science for another.

Our Mckayla has a fierce independent streak (rivaled only by her mother’s = /) and training her has proved to be a whole new ballgame. (but that’s a whole other post)

The point of this one is short: we have been working with Mckayla off and on about holding Mommy’s hand while we walk around.

Today we went to Target and purposely bypassed the carts so she could have a chance to practice walking around and holding my hand. For once we weren’t in a ridiculous hurry. (which by the way, can be a great enemy to training my kids)

And good news… she did really great! By now, I know her well enough to know that this means absolutely nothing for tomorrow. But for today, I’m thankful for a small step of victory and an opportunity to help her taken.

I realize it has only been three or four days, but writing this stuff is really helping me to pay better attention at working on things with the girls (and me). I pray that we’ll finish these 31 days better than we started. It’s so easy to do great at the beginning.

And just for fun to “keep it real” this is what Mckayla wore two days ago as her mother did not have any clean pants for her. We did change to go out, but it was only to a non-sleepwear, non-matching flowered skirt. Oh yeah!

I should also mention that she was ecstatic to be wearing "ginny" mouse!
I should also mention that she was ecstatic to be wearing “ginny” mouse!

31 days of training my kids: intro

Why is it so hard to do simple, important things… every day?

I’ve taken on a challenge to blog about one topic for thirty-one days. While I would love to research and write about diy projects, design, poetry, etc… I have a major responsibility in my life right now, and it’s only going to last for a few short years.

imageI have four girls, five and under, and our life can get a little crazy.

Training your children isn’t about turning out perfect little angels, it’s about survival. And joy. Every minute I give to training my girls yields hours of fun, laughter, exploration and growth.

So why do I find it so hard to do consistently?

Contrasting the above-mentioned fun and laughter are the bad attitudes, impatience and frustration that come from mom checking out for a few days.

Training (especially for the purposes of this series) is not equivalent to discipline. But rather, it is the creative and pre-emptive guidance of a parent. “Here, let me show you what I expect, and let’s think of fun ways to practice.”

I want to write about training my kids because that’s one of the most important things I need to be doing every day. And it’s also the hardest… to just do.

I plan to write about things I have done in the past, and things I need to do right now. There will be “favorite” days where I will share resources that I love, and in-the-moment struggles as I evaluate, “What did I actually do today?”

I dearly love my kids and love being a mom. I don’t want to waste these years by wishing them away, and I also don’t want to look back and say, “Well, at least we had fun.” There’s got to be a balance.

Here’s my effort to journal the training that goes on in our house for one month. Want to follow along?

imageCheck back every day in October to keep up with the fun!

Coming tomorrow: 31 days of training my kids: definitions, goals, plans

A great big thanks to the Nester for all the fun and inspiration.

If you’re new here, thank you so much for coming! I’d love for you to look around; start at the About page and you can find favorite posts from there. If you like what you see like the blog on facebook and follow by email so you won’t miss a thing! 

An encouragement regarding children who aren’t inclined to work

for the families 006
She volunteered to wipe down the cabinets!
In her element, "playing" with water
In her element, “playing” with water

If I’ve heard my husband say how he first noticed me once, I’ve heard it a million times.

“We were working at this camp together, and it was my job to give out the responsibilities. I noticed that this girl was always where she was supposed to be, didn’t mess around, worked really hard and did great at everything…”

Blah. Blah. Blah…little did I know in a few years he’d want me to have four kids in a row, take care of them, clean the house, make the meals… no wonder he noticed a hard worker! = ) Totally kidding!

A funny thought occurred to me a few weeks ago; maybe it was after hearing him begin that story for the bajillionth time.

I actually wasn’t a good worker at all as a kid.

My parents, who were very committed to teaching us how to work and be responsible, had to remind me constantly to keep working. I would daydream, do a half-hearted job, ask to go do something else, or just plain stop. We weren’t allowed to whine or complain at all, but I do remember not being very happy about working on the inside.

To their credit, my parents never really criticized me for this. I don’t remember any lectures or “No more, or else!” moments. They just quietly, consistently kept giving me jobs, talking about the value of work, and expecting me to do my part for the family. I don’t remember at all it being a negative memory; I just know that in my heart, I would have rather been swinging, reading, or climbing trees.

I do remember a big light bulb moment towards the end of high school. (Sorry, Mom and Dad that it took so long!) I literally remember thinking, They ask me to vacuum and wash the car every week! Why don’t I just do it before they ask me so it won’t be so annoying when they tell me to do it and I’m in the middle of something? Like I said, light bulb! I began to do it first thing every Friday and I was so much happier! By that time, I actually enjoyed the jobs that I did; and finally taking ownership of them was even better.

****

Now I remember what made me think about this: I was watching Hope do some little job and thinking, She’s just not a very good worker. Then I remembered, Oh yeah! Neither was I; for a looong time. Then I thought, Ha! Isn’t it funny that the “hard worker” character trait was one of the first things that Paul noticed about me.

So, the point is, if you have a child that’s not inclined to work, don’t despair. Even the worst of us can be reformed.

I’m proof. = )

(Now just don’t ask me about what happened to that stellar work ethic after I got married and pregnant!)